Recently I got into a discussion with some bloggers about the power of words. It was a fascinating discussion, as it highlighted for me just how difficult it is to communicate effectively. It it so easy to be misunderstood, since expressing ideas clearly takes great skill, and people always have their own emotional baggage which affects the way words are interpreted.
I like the words please and thank you. I also like being told, I love you. But my favorite words are I’m sorry.
I’m sorry. I say it often:
- I’m sorry, I was preoccupied and didn’t notice that I was blocking your way, or that there was a queue formed in a direction I failed to see, or that you were approaching the door and I didn’t hold it open for you, etc...
- I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to step on your foot, or bump into you because I zigged when I should have zagged.
- I'm sorry, but not tonight, I have a headache.
- I’m sorry, I misunderstood your meaning.
- I’m sorry I interrupted you.
- I’m sorry we don’t agree, and our disagreement has upset us both.
- I’m sorry I behaved inappropriately in this situation.
- I’m sorry that I did not consider your feelings before speaking or acting.
- I’m sorry I hurt you, even if that was not my intention.
- I’m sorry, that was completely my fault.
I’m sorry. When these words are sincerely spoken, they make life more pleasant for all of us.
Some people think saying those words are a sign of weakness, but to me, they’re a sign of great strength of character. Try them! They really do work wonders!